The number of women-owned firms is growing at a rate one and a half times more than the national average, according to the American Express OPEN 2013 State of Women-Owned Business report. Women-owned firm’s revenue and employment growth over the past 16 years exceeds that of all but the largest, publicly traded companies however, only two percent of women-owned firms have reached the million-dollar threshold. If female entrepreneurs unlocked their full potential they could actually add 8 million jobs by hiring just one employee.
In response to the success women have experienced and the need to build on those accomplishments, American Express OPEN has created OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp. This first-of-its-kind program immerses women entrepreneurs in the fundamental pillars for successful ventures: confidence, competence and connections.
“Given our rich legacy in the women’s entrepreneurship space, and the existing need, the time is right to establish this first of its kind program that speaks to the mindset of women entrepreneurs,” said Susan Sobbott, president, American Express OPEN. “CEO BootCamp will help them work on the business rather than in the business through highly focused programs that will help entrepreneurs identify growth opportunities that have an impact on local communities while contributing to the U.S. economy.”
CEO BootCamp will kick off on September 20th with a special event for women entrepreneurs to help them hone their skills, uncover opportunities and address mindset obstacles that may have held them back from reaching their full potential as a CEO. This event is open to all women entrepreneurs regardless of industry, size or revenue. To register for the NYC event, click here.
Alex Ytuarte is Senior Manager of Customer Advocacy Marketing at American Express Open and oversees initiatives to help small businesses grow their business. Alex currently oversees the OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp initiative, which launches on September 20. Alex previously managed the OPEN for Government Contracts program, which provides small business owners with the education and resources needed to tap business opportunities available through government contracts.
What do Janet Yellen, Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer and Alexa Von Tobel have in common? As different as they may be, all these women are breaking ground as we speak!
Janet Yellen, (pictured left) the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is a strong contender to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman, proving that women are ready and waiting to be at the helm in finance. President Obama should appoint this capable woman to the job.
In other industries women are also breaking ground. ABC Anchor Diane Sawyer beat out the traditional top news broadcaster Brian Williams to be number one the week of July 22 for the first time, putting women at the front of the line, and Oprah Winfrey turned a profit with her new television network OWN, beating forecasts and showing everyone she remains a major force in the industry.
Add to this the many young women entrepreneurs like Alexa von Tobel, Founder of LearnVest (pictured right) who just raised $16.5 million in venture capital for the LearnVest personal finance site, and it's proof positive that women are making progress. Clearly we are ready to blast the glass for everyone!
Don't be fooled by the new report which shows women gaining jobs. "The Labor Department said Friday that the economy added 175,000 jobs in May, with nearly half going to women". The problem is that half of the job growth for women so far in 2013 was in low-wage positions. At Newsonwomen, I have seen this in spades, searching day after day for good jobs being given to women by big companies and finding only half the number I found last year, a huge and disappointing drop. As we celebrate (or should I say mourn) the 50th anniversary of the equal pay act, women are still being paid less than men. Solutions are closer today than ever before but require action on the part of companies. It's not going to just happen.
I'll continue to post recent job appointments and hope companies will start appointing more women. Here are a few:
Deloitte appointed Sheila T. Smith Restructuring Services Leader for the Americas. Sheila is Region Principal, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services and the co-leader of Deloitte FAS' Corporate Restructuring Group in the U.S. Read more in the prnewswire press release.